Synopses & Reviews
- Why do Jews eat gefilte fish?
- Why is a glass broken at the end of a Jewish wedding ceremony?
- Why must the chapter of curses in the Torah be read quickly in a low voice?
- Why are shrimp and lobster not kosher?
- Why do Jews fast on Yom Kippur?
- Why are some Matzot square while others are round?
If you've ever asked or been asked any of these questions, The Jewish Book of Why has all the answers. In this complete, concise, fascinating, and thoroughly informative guide to Jewish life and tradition, Rabbi Alfred J. Kolatch clearly explains both the significance and the origin of nearly every symbol, custom, and practice known to Jewish culture-from Afikomon to Yarmulkes, and from Passover to Purim. Kolatch also dispels many of the prevalent misconceptions and misunderstandings that surround Jewish observance and provides a full and unfettered look at the biblical, historical, and sometimes superstitious reasons and rituals that helped develop Jewish law and custom and make Judaism not just a religion, but a way of life. L'chaim!
Offering concise, straightforward answers to many questions surrounding Jewish life and practice, Rabbi Kolatch describes practically every symbol, custom, and convention relating to the public and personal life of the Jew, and attempts to dispel prevalent misunderstandings and misconceptions pertaining to Jewish observance.
Includes bibliographical references (p.-289) and index.
About the Author
Alfred J. Kolatch is a graduate of the Teacher's Institute of Yeshiva University and its College of Liberal Arts and is an ordained rabbi in the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is the author of numerous books, including The Jewish Home Advisor.
Table of Contents
The early years -- Marriage and divorce -- Death and mourning -- The dietary laws -- Objects and garb -- The synagogue -- Posture and prayer -- The Sabbath -- Passover -- Shavuot -- The High Holidays -- Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Tora -- Chanuka -- Purim -- Minor observances -- General questions.